Well…it was a no brainer wasn’t it! There was NO other city to have been in over the weekend! Dispite the (quintessentially British!) rain, thousands and thousands of people have descended upon central London to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee!
London really is an amzing city and we certainly know how to throw a party…
… yep, here I am at the Royal Wedding celebrations that took place last year…
..but we also know how to SHOP until we DROP!! London is indisputably one of the fashion capitals of the world – but it also a fabulous city to shop for beauty and as a lover of all thing beautiful, I want to share my favourite places to shop for the best in hair and beauty for the woman of colour! This post is also a follow up the brilliant guest post that I featured on my blog by Parisian beauty blogger Doria, aka Miss BB who shared the beauty haunts that every woman of colour should visit when in Paris. I promised to reciprocate the favour…so I hope that all who read this post – whether home or away – find it informative!
Junior Green Salon
Based in the heart of Knightbridge, the award winning stylist and his team will tend to your tresses. Whether you are looking for the ultimate relaxer or dreadlock extensions, Junior Green is able to create the look that you desire.
You can be sure that you are in safe hands with Mr Green who has a plethora of accolades under his belt and last year he added the title of Afro Hairdresser of the Year at the British Hairdressing Awards – the most prestigious hairdressing award in the UK. After entering the category for 10 years without success, Green finally took home the trophy! Read more about his win here.
Junior Green 39 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7NL Tel: 020 7752 0620
Established in 2001, by Harriet Kessie, this popular salon recently re-branded and changed the name from Harriet Kessie Salon to Afrotherapy. An online store was also launched – making it easier for clients to repurchase the essential home care products to maintain their style.
The north London based salon has a very loyal client base, including Yolande Brown, the celebrated saxophonist and fellow London based beauty blogger Dija’s World...well if it good enough for them…
Afrotherapy Salon 235 Fore Street, Edmonton London N18 2TZ
Those venturing to the south of the city should head to one of the three Hype Coiffure salons (Balham, Battersea and Brixton) . I used to live in Balham, which is the location where the first salon opened in 2005. I frequented the salon on many occasions. The stylists are forward thinking and always on trend and between the three salons the staff won numerous awards. In particular, Kim Johnson, Salon Manager and Michelle Sultan Director and Colour Technician of the Battersea branch have formed a formidable partnership. With over 30 years experience between them, their work has been featured in leading magazines and in campaigns for Goldwell products.
Hype Coiffure Battersea, 186 Lavender Hill Battersea, London SW11 5TQ
Now I am sure that you are all aware of the the big department stores in the centre of London – Selfridges, John Lewis, House of Fraser and the like each have an extensive beauty hall that is home to most of the mainstream beauty brands (MAC, Bobbi Brown, Clinique etc), and although I do frequent these stores often my favourite London department store of all is Liberty. The iconic Tudor building which is a stone throw away from Oxford Circus, is beautiful both inside and out. Full of character and history, I love to visit the recently renovated beauty hall which now houses brands such as NARS, Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier, which all have shades of foundations to suit darker skin tones. Some of my skincare brands that can be found in store include REN, Eve Lom and Dr Sebagh.
I love the Dr Sebagh range! It is one of the most effective skincare ranges I have ever used – and if money was no object (it is quite a pricey range – but worth every penny!) – I would buy every item that is suited to my skin type! Alas, this is not to be at present, so I make do with the AMAZING Deep Exfoliation Mask (£59). Why do I recommended this product? It contains a high percentage of active exfoliation ingredients that enhances cell renewal and really does reduce the appearance of even very dark pigmentation scars that often effect those with a darker skin tone. Liberty, Regent Street W1B 5AH
If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that one of the make-up brands that I love to talk about is BECCA. With a foundation range that boast 34 shades – there is a shade for every woman.
If you are ever in the South Kensignton area of London, you MUST visit the BECCA boutique! This luxurious, yet modern space is far away from the hustle and bustle of London, and you can purchase the products, take a makeup lesson or make use of the photographic studio on the lower ground floor! Read more about BECCA here and here !
BECCA 91A Pelham Road, London, SW7 2NJ
If you are a die-hard beauty enthusiast than a visit to a SPACE NK boutiue is essential! There are several stores dotted around central and suburban London, so you are never too far from what is the ultimate beauty playground. I often pop in just to have a play! The minimilist in store interior showcases the array of products and the staff are helpful but not pushy…allowing you to browse at your leisure.
. The carefully edited brands represent the best of global beauty and you can be sure there will always be something new to discover! My latest find is the skincare brand CANE & AUSTIN. Their Retexturising Treatment Pads (£48 for 60) harness the power of glycolic acid to exfoliate and retexture the skin while helping to rebuild collagen, revealing a clearer, more radiant complexion and is said to be very effective on pigmentation scaring. There are also always a series of events that you can attend, where you can meet the founders of some of the brands, enjoy discount evenings and much much more! Again, I have attended a few of these events and they have always been a lot of fun. The Cheapside store is one that I like to visit, it recently underwent a renovation and it is large and airy – and just when you thought things could not get any better – I have just found out that this store is now also home to a Blink Brow Bar!!
I started to visit Blink to get my eyebrows threaded way back in 2007 – and they are the ONLY company I trust with my eyebrows! Blink also have several locations in the city – so check out their website for more details.
Facials and Treatments
Facials are also crucial for tip-top optimum skin and in London you are spoilt for choice as to where to go to get a well deserved skin treatment. Over the past few years Dermalogica have opened several counters in department stores and stand alone concept stores that serve the customer directly. This was a significant development in the history of the brand, which had built its reputation on only selling the products via an interdependent spa/skin centre.
One such concept store is in the One New Change shopping centre. Located on Cheapside, (can you tell I like to visit Cheapside!!) in the heart of the City of London – overlooking one of London’s most famous landmark, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the location of the Queen’s 60th Jubilee Thanksgiving Service. Here you can not only purchase items from across the entire Dermalogica range, but you can also treat your skin with a 20 min power facial. Dubbed the MicroZone® treatment – these mini facials target your most pressing skin concerns in a flash! The Dermalogica skin therapists will analyse your skin, then perform a zone specific treatment designed to solve your skin problem. At just £20 for each 20 minute treatment, it goes to show that having great skin does not have to cost the earth!
One New Change, London, EC4M 9AF
If you are looking for something a little more indulgent, why not visit Antonia Burrell. Burrell has been in the beauty business for over 18 years and has tended to the skin of both men and women providing them with friendly one-to-one counsel and effective skincare regimes that have not only healed facial scars but re-instilled self-confidence. Antonia’s approach as a leading skin expert is holistic and she explores internal well -being as well as external beauty and believes that skincare is a journey. Advice is practical, detailed and specific and if you follow Antonia’s advice, then you are on your journey to flawless, younger looking, trouble-free skin. Each facial treatment is bespoke and expertly tailored for your exact skincare needs so you will leave Antonia’s presence with corrected, radiant, glowing skin, feeling loved and truly pampered.
After more than four years of research and development, Burrell launched her own holistic skincare collection to reflect her expertise and passion in helping troublesome skin suffers achieve radiant, flawless skin through naturally potent plant based remedies that work and help harmonise the body with the mind. A good friend of mine recently had a treatment with Antonia – I have asked her to write a guest review for my blog, so look out for this in the near future.